HKO provides web application for SIGMET preparation and coordination
HKO News Bulletin for the Aviation Community (36th Issue)
Users have long expressed concern over the discontinuity of SIGMET across FIR boundaries. As a first step towards better harmonization of warning area, a trial, involving Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore is now being conducted under the lead of the World Meteorological Organization to see if better coordination between Meteorological Watch Offices (MWOs) could improve the situation. To facilitate regional SIGMET coordination, the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) has developed a web-based application for participating MWOs to prepare and coordinate SIGMET interactively and collaboratively, on a regional level (Fig. 1).
The tool comes with the capability to generate FIR-based SIGMET messages that comply with ICAO Annex 3 SIGMET template. Currently the application only supports the preparation and coordination of significant convective activities that warrant the issuance of SIGMET. To this aim, real time products based on Himawari-8 satellite are provided for monitoring and analyzing development of convective activities.
Apart from showing meteorological information, the platform also contains convenient tools for drawing SIGMET areas, type of convection, its movement or forecast positions (Fig. 2). The latest SIGMETs in force are also available for improved common situation awareness as well as easy identification of SIGMETs for coordination (Fig. 3).
A handy "chatroom" (the right hand side on Figure 1) is also available as a communication facility, for effective group coordination among participating parties. Users find the chat room effective for making harmonized SIGMET messages when the respective convective activity crosses neighbouring FIRs.
The tool is provided freely to the participating MWOs. Interested MWOs not participating in the trial can also request an account on the test site. For further details about the tool and account application, please contact Mr. P. Cheung (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).